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Help with a "Peaches 'n Cream" beer

Hi guys - I have access to a peach tree this fall and was wanting to make a beer with the fruit but was needing help.

My thought is to make a creamy (as in mouthfeel, not style) golden ale and add peaches and vanilla to secondary. I’m thinking of the flavor of the Peaches n Cream oatmeal I ate as a kid (we always added a little milk to it).

I have pilsner and two-row for base malt. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten :frowning:

Should I add oats, flaked maize or lactose to get the creaminess? What about other malts like CariDextrine? Maybe crystal for sweetness?

Also, thoughts on hops? I am thinking something very light like Hallertau for 60 minutes and that’s all.

Any help is greatly appreciated! I don’t make recipes often so am quite lost. I think this beer has potential?

This one sounds like it has potential, but warning: it may take several tries before it gets close to what you are envisioning. I’ve found it quite rare to get a concept very close on the first try.

To start with the simple parts, I like your idea of just hallertau hop for bittering and nothing else. That will give you clean bitterness to counteract the sweetness, and won’t compete with the peach character. In the end you may decide you want to add some mild flavor hops to add a bit of depth. A small 20 minute addition of hallertau or EKG could provide a bit of a floral note, or some Williamette or Fuggles at 20 minutes for a bit of earthiness. But I’d start without and then decide for the second batch if it is needed. An IBU target would depend on how much lactose and crystal hops you end up with, but I’d think somewhere between 20 and 30 IBUs might work.

Now on to the harder part: mouthfeel. Oats and unmalted barley are suppose to give some smooth, silky enhanced mouthfeel to a beer, but I’ve never been able to get that from them. As best I can tell, all you really end up with is sugar and very mild flavor. So I don’t think that’s the solution. Maybe there is a trick to how they are used, but if so no one I’ve discussed this with knows it. Lactose will help, as it does add body (as well as residual sweetness), but you might get too sweet before you hit the body level you are aiming for. As a first try, I’d go with some lactose (maybe a pound for a five gallon batch?) and a higher mash temperature, perhaps up around 155F. You may also want to consider using up to a pound of CaraPils, which is also a body enhancer.

Other crystal malt would be added primarily for flavor. If you want some caramel, consider a bit of Crystal 40 or 60. I wouldn’t use a very light crystal (other than the carapils) because it could over-sweeten things.

Lastly, make sure you don’t add the peaches till the bulk of the fermentation is over. If you add the peaches earlier, the vigorous fermentation could drive off a lot of the volatile aromatics of the fruit.

And if you do make this beer, let everyone know how it turns out.

Thanks for the feedback, Rebuilt!

I will definitely follow-up if I do make this one. I read that Short’s from Bellaire, Mich. made an imperial Peaches n Cream beer in this same vane and used lactose. They have a knack for simulating flavors in beer, so I think I will follow their lead. I am thinking lactose and a high mash temp will get me close to where I want to be. Also, I plan to secondary with the peaches and vanilla.

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